The U.S. Border Patrol detained a group of 180 undocumented immigrants who crossed the border early Tuesday morning in Sunland Park, N.M.
The apprehension was the second in Sunland Park involving a group of more than 100 migrants in the past three weeks.
The Border Patrol said that the migrants were mostly families and children from Central America.
Border Patrol and Sunland Park paramedics conducted initial medical screenings of the detained migrants, officials said. An undisclosed number with medical problems were taken to a hospital.
On the night of President Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso, more than 300 migrants were detained Feb. 11 after going around border fencing where it ends near Mount Cristo Rey in Sunland Park.
Sunland Park is just west of El Paso on the New Mexico side of the Rio Grande.
On Tuesday afternoon, a Mass was celebrated on both sides of the Sunland Park-Anapra, Mexico, border fence by about 20 Catholic bishops from Texas and Mexico and other clergy in a show of solidarity with migrants fleeing violence and poverty.
A large influx of Central American migrants seeking political asylum have been arriving in El Paso and the surrounding region since last year.
The migrant groups have surrendered to border agents in El Paso and desolate locations such as Antelope Wells, some 122 miles west of El Paso in New Mexico’s Bootheel region.
Migrants cross Texas border
There also has been an increase in large groups of migrants crossing the border in the Del Rio region of South Texas. Del Rio is more than 400 miles southeast of El Paso.
On Monday morning, a group of about 90 Honduran migrants crossed the Rio Grande and surrendered to Border Patrol agents in the small town of Quemado, northwest of Eagle Pass, Texas, officials said.
“Although groups of this size, until recently, have been uncommon in the Del Rio area, our agents are encountering larger groups of immigrants with women and young children,” Del Rio Sector acting Border Patrol Chief Matthew J. Hudak said in a statement.
“Our highest priority will always be the safety of all people involved, no matter the situation,” Hudak said. “However, it is a criminal offense to enter the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry. Those who choose to enter illegally will be arrested and handled accordingly.”
© 2019 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)
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